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Here are 3 Android apps to help you read news better

Between Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and the 100 other apps and services that vie for my attention in any given day (okay, maybe an exaggeration), it can sometimes feel very debilitating to try and keep up with everything happening in the world. Unless you read all day and train yourself to be a speed reader, how are you to see everything that’s happening in your areas of interest? Most of us just don’t have that kind of time in our lives to stay informed, work 8 hour days, and still maintain a healthy lifestyle. And as we’ve seen in cases like Internet providers’ attempting to prioritize their own services over those of companies like Netflix, being informed matters.


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Instapaper 4.2 brings speed reading and tweetshots to Android version




Instapaper, the popular service for saving articles that you find across the web to read later, has been updated to version 4.2 on Android and introduces two new features bringing it up to parity with its desktop and iOS counterparts.

The first feature is called Speed Reading and what it does is display your articles one word at a time, transitioning word by word at whatever word-per-minute speed you set. Here’s the before and after of enabling Speed Reading side-by-side, along with what it looks like to set your reading speed:

Instapaper in its blog post announcing the Speed Reading feature back when it launched on iOS said that it utilizes a common speed reading technique called rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP). The goal, they say, with using this method is to eliminate subvocalization, or the voice in the back of your head that repeats words as you read them, and reduce time lost scanning between words. I haven’t found that Speed Reading works well for me, but if you’re an Instapaper user it’s worth playing with the speed to try and find if you can still comprehend articles well enough with it guiding you – the developer says it can increase reading speed by up to 3x.

The second feature added in v4.2 is the ability to create tweetshots, or snippets of text that are turned into images that can be shared on Twitter. If you’ve used a network like Twitter or Instagram in the past year you’ve probably seen these – people bypassing character limits by writing out what they want to say in a text editor, or highlighting a full paragraph they like from an article, and sharing a screenshot of that. The tweetshots tool productizes this, displaying a button in the contextual text highlighting action bar. It looks like this:

Lastly, of course, is the standard “many bug fixes” note. All-in-all, though, these are two solid features that Instapaper fans like myself will be glad to now have on Android. The update is available in Google Play now, so hit it up for the download.